In the last few weeks since I last wrote, so much in my life has shifted. One of the biggest changes is I have a new job! I was approached within my current company & presented with a new role: new title, team, responsibilities & a raise! Now, not everything is sunshine & rainbows. If we backup to a few weeks ago, I was not the happiest; I was actively looking for another job & confident in being vocal about my needs. So, you can imagine my surprise when this opportunity fell in my lap. It was one of those life moments that made me think – “life works in mysterious ways.”
The more I thought about the situation, the more I realized how my mindset at work throughout the past few months played a critical role in how I coped with the challenges & therefore almost drew in this new job opportunity. In the workplace, I am in what’s called a “growth mindset”:
- I stay truthful to myself
- I focus on my goals & purpose
- I recognize that I am a great employee
- I take action when I don’t agree with certain things, or feel overwhelmed
- I believe my goals are possible
- I am not scared of success
- I am excited for others when they succeed & want to motivate
This got me thinking about the other areas of my life where I seem to struggle, even when there’s not an obstacle in the way. I’m going to be real here; I’m talking about my love life & weight loss. In these areas of my life, I’m in a “fixed mindset”:
- I feel like I’ll always fail anyway, so why try
- I believe I’ll never succeed
- I’m scared to take risks
- I give up easily
- I am envious of others
- I am very self-critical
- I’m not a “relationship person”
- I’ve always been this way
Developed by psychologist Carol Dweck, let’s clarify what the differences between these two mindsets:
Growth Mindset: people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point.
Fixed Mindset: people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits.
Our mindset plays a critical role in how we cope with life’s challenges, and it’s important to be aware of your mindset in the 7 main areas of life: career, financial, spiritual, physical, intellectual, family & social
Even this morning, I heard myself making a ‘fixed mindset’ statement and I caught myself! I went to a new hot yoga class & was dripping with sweat from head to toe. I couldn’t bear put on a shirt to my short walk home, but the idea of stepping outside in a sports bra mortified me. I started calling myself names & cruelly laughed at myself for even letting the idea of going outside with midriff/a back roll showing cross my mind. And I caught this belief, recognized this was a fixed mindset that’s been built upon for 18+ years, and redefined it. I walked home in that sports bra. Was I comfortable? No. Was I “happy”? Not especially. But, I was in control. I felt encouraged. I felt proud that I even went to that class & excited for the next one. Would I have had the same takeaways if I didn’t rebel against my fixed mindset? No way. And knowing me, I would have canceled class for the next week by reason of my own beliefs & mindset.
The goal here isn’t to start changing or nitpicking yourself. It’s awareness; discovering any fixed mindsets & knowing it’s possible work on strengthening your growth mindset.
Art: Sarah Jung Art